Photo Credit: Cassandra Sclauzero
2598 Eton St, Vancouver BC
VHF Restore It 2015
Other names: Park Grocery and Woodside Apartments, Beacon Hill Grocery
This building is a vernacular corner store with apartments above. Historically this area was known as Hastings Townsite. This building was built in 1911, the same year that the Townsite residents voted to join with the City of Vancouver.
This building is significant for its association with the original owner, Frank Woodside, who spearheaded the vote by residents of Hastings Townsite to join the City of Vancouver. The building contained the offices of Frank Woodside for a number of years during his early tenure as Alderman representing the local area (1911-1928).
It was built before commercial activity had developed along Hastings Street to the south. The building represents the beginning of a development boom in the local area brought upon by the completion of the streetcar line along McGill Street out to Renfrew Street that coincided with the opening of the Vancouver Exhibition and the horse race track at Hastings Park.
The building’s early name, Beacon Hill Grocery, is important for marking the promotion of the local area as it opened up to development, referencing its siting overlooking Vancouver’s harbour and alluding to desirable neighbourhoods of the same name in other cities such as Boston and Victoria.
The later name, Park Grocery, was given to the store in 1939 by then owners, Bunzo and Misu Watanabe. As Japanese-Canadians, a corner store was one of the few business opportunities available in the face of limitations to work in other businesses or professions. Their property was confiscated three years later when Japanese-Canadians were interned.
VHF Files, Vancouver Building Permits.